How to Compost With Red Worms

Overview

Worms are essential to a compost bin to dispose of organic waste, such as dead leaves, clipped grass and kitchen scraps. The two types of red worms that are best for compost are Eisenia foetida and Lumbricus rubellus. You can purchase these worms from stores or find them in manure. Never use night crawlers or garden worms as they won't reproduce and eat the organic waste quickly enough. Also, red worms are easier to manage and will not attract as many unwanted insects.

Step 1

Make sure you've established a compost bin. Make sure that the container you use for your compost has holes in the bottom to allow proper drainage. Also, use a cover to provide moisture for the worms.

Step 2

Add bedding that is suitable for your compost bin before adding your red worms. The best kind of material to use for bedding is shredded newspaper or cardboard, dead leaves, straw and old manure. Also, add a cup of soil and sand to help the red worms digest food.

Step 3

Make sure that all materials are slightly moistened before adding them to the bin. The bin should be at least three-quarters full of the moistened bedding before you add the worms. Lift spaces in the bedding to help create pockets of air.

Step 4

Add 2 pounds of worms to the compost, depending on the size of your bin. You can determine the amount of red worms to use by how much food you use in your bin. For example, if you use 1 pound of food waste, you should use 2 pounds of worms.

Step 5

Feed the worms compost food scraps like vegetables, fruit, coffee grounds and pulverized egg shells. The worms also will eat the bedding so you will need to add more bedding at least once a week.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never feed your red worms dairy, grease or meat as they can kill the worms and attract bad smells, rodents and flies.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic waste
  • Compost bin
  • Manure
  • Kitchen scraps
  • 2 pounds of red worms

References

  • Composting with Redworms
  • Composting With Red Wiggler Worms
Keywords: red worms, compost bin, maintaining compost

About this Author

Greg Lindberg is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in creative writing. His professional writing experience includes three years of technical writing for an agriculture IT department and a major pharmaceutical company, as well as four years as staff writer for a music and film webzine.